HOUSTON, TX- Stephen F. Austin senior Thomas Walkup is one of 20 NCAA Division I men's basketball seniors from around the nation who has been selected to play in the 2016 Reese's Division I College All-Star Game at NRG Stadium in Houston at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, April 1.
Walkup, who hails from Pasadena, Texas, is one of 10 players on the West team and will be coached by former Maryland great and former NBA head coach John Lucas. While playing in the tilt, he will be wearing number 21.
Capping one of the best careers in Southland Conference history this season, the versatile guard/forward established himself as one of the best players in the nation and became SFA's career leader in scoring, rebounding, field goals made and wins in his memorable 2015-16 campaign. He captured the title of Southland Conference Player of the Year for the second-straight season, marking only the third time in the history of the conference someone has accomplished that feat, and added a third-straight Southland Conference Tournament MVP title to his personal trophy case after leading the 'Jacks to their third consecutive NCAA Tournament berth by winning the Southland Conference Tournament.
While in the NCAA Tournament field, the 'Jacks' leader helped SFA stage one of the biggest upsets in tournament history when the 14th-seeded 'Jacks upended third-seeded and No. 8-ranked West Viriginia in the opening round. It was just the 20th time in the history of the tournament that a fourteen-seed defeated a three seed and SFA's 70-56 win stands as the largest margin of victory in a fourteen over three upset.
SFA's star was in the top five of no fewer than seven statistical categories in the Southland Conference and led the 'Jacks in scoring (18.1 ppg), rebounding (6.9 per game), assists (4.5 per game) and field goal percentage (.588). He recorded the first SFA triple-double in 43 years and the first Southland Conference triple-double in half a decade on February 29 when he led SFA to an 84-58 win at Incarnate Word by notching 12 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists.
About the Reese's West All-Stars Head Coach John Lucas (from official NABC release)
John Lucas, Head Coach (Reese's West All-Stars)
A three-time All-America at the University of Maryland, Lucas played as a sophomore with Terrapins' greats Len Elmore and Tom McMillen, both seniors, in 1973-74. The Terps had a 23-5 regular season record but lost in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament. Maryland missed the NCAA tournament as NCAA rules at the time only allowed the conference tournament champion. A consensus All-America selection as a junior and senior, Lucas led Maryland to the NCAA Elite Eight in 1974-75 where the Terps were beaten by Louisville. Following another standout season as a senior in 1975-76, earning All-America honors in both basketball and tennis, he was selected as the ACC Athlete of the Year. Lucas was the first overall selection of the Houston Rockets in the 1976 NBA draft and played for 14 seasons, helping the Rockets to the 1986 NBA finals where they lost to the Boston Celtics. He was the head coach for three NBA teams – the San Antonio Spurs, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Lucas, a resident of Houston, is regarded as one of the world's best resources for basketball training and development. Top NBA and collegiate players from across the nation travel to Houston during the off-season to participate in his workouts and training sessions.
About the National Association of Basketball Coaches
Located in Kansas City, Missouri, the NABC was founded in 1927 by Forrest "Phog" Allen, the legendary basketball coach at the University of Kansas. Allen, a student of James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, organized coaches into this collective group to serve as Guardians of the Game. The NABC currently has nearly 5,000 members consisting primarily of university and college men's basketball coaches. All members of the NABC are expected to uphold the core values of being a Guardian of the Game by bringing attention to the positive aspects of the sport of basketball and the role coaches play in the academic and athletic lives of today's student-athletes. The four core values of being a Guardian of the Game are advocacy, leadership, service and education. Additional information about the NABC, its programs and membership, can be found at www.nabc.org.
2016 Reese's NABC College All-Stars – East
No., Name, Ht., Pos., Wt., College/Hometown
2, D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera, G, 6-3, 215, Georgetown/Indianapolis, Ind.
4, Trey Lewis, G, 6-2, 185, Louisville/Garfield Heights, Ohio
10, James Robinson, G, 6-3, 198, Pittsburgh/Mitchellville, Md.
12, Kellen Dunham, G, 6-6, 200, Butler/Pendleton, Ind.
14, David Walker , G, 6-6, 196, Northeastern/Stow, Ohio
20, Damion Lee, G, 6-6, 210, Louisville/Baltimore, Md.
22, Justin Sears, F, 6-8, 205, Yale/Plainfield, N.J.
24, Anthony Gill, F, 6-8, 230, Virginia/High Point, N.C.
32, Shevon Thompson, C, 6-11, 243, George Mason/Clarendon, Jamaica
34, Nathan Boothe, C, 6-9, 250, Toledo/Gurnee, Ill.
Head Coach: Doug Collins (Illinois State University)